Cove student lands entrance, scholarship to dream school

Special to Leader-Press

BELTON – Carleigh Ross has known since she was a sophomore that she wanted to attend the University of Mary Hardin Baylor, a private Christian-based college nestled deep in the heart of Belton. Over the weekend, the goal toward which she’s strived for the last two years finally came to fruition. Not only has she been accepted to UMHB, but she will be attending with a $20,000 scholarship in hand.
Out of an incoming freshman class of more than 700 students, Ross is one of only 12 students to receive the UMHB Loyalty Fund Leadership Scholarship to be awarded at a rate of $2,500 per semester for eight consecutive fall and spring semesters. To compete for the scholarship, Ross was required to submit an essay describing her future goals and how God is using her in her community. 
“I’ve always strived to help those around me and spread the love of God, and through His influence I grew to aspire to be a surgeon, where I could make the biggest difference in other’s lives,” Ross said. “I’ve always loved reaching out to my community and lending a hand wherever I was needed, and I’ve accumulated over 1,000 hours in the last two years volunteering in my community for a wide variety of activities and events, from waterway cleanups to passing out food at the soup kitchen.”
Ross was also required to have significant involvement in her church, community, and school. As a former Young Miss Rabbit Fest, she accrued more than 500 hours of community service through her platform of the American Cancer Society heading up major fundraising initiatives and promoting the services offered by the charity to cancer victims, survivors and their caregivers. 
“Leadership is a skill I’ve developed and continue to improve within my school with a positive influence and through organizations such as student council, class officers, and cheerleading,” Ross said. “I’ve also made sure to volunteer with my church, Holy Family, for events such as the fall festival and pancake breakfast.”
As a condition of the scholarship, Ross must live on campus as a full-time student, maintain a GPA of at least 2.5, assist as a UMHB ambassador with the campus recruiting office, and positively represent the university at all times. Ross, who began kindergarten at age 4, will begin college at age 17. 
“UMHB has an excellent program in pre-medicine, where I’ll be surrounded by those with a similar love for God and His influence, and the small campus is a perfect environment to help encourage and motivate each student,” Ross said.
Ross, who is an All-American cheerleader, hopes to also receive additional scholarships for cheerleading to help fund the estimated $22,000-plus annual tuition at UMHB. She is also applying for a myriad of other scholarships. At CCHS, she maintains a GPA of 3.95 and is ranked 46 out of a class of 506.  

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